Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
89
very good
897 Ratings
THE BROS
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Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic AleStone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

Style: Belgian IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.60%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale is a Strong Golden Belgian style ale highly hopped with American hops (Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe). The beer pours pale golden with a thick and creamy white head of foam. The aroma is full of depth: nuances of pepper, clove, and banana from the Belgian yeast strain, and the resiny citrus notes from the American hops blend together nicely to provide a complex aromatic character. The taste is spicy, hoppy and fruity, with a very dry and a pleasant bitter end. The bitterness lingers nicely, and provides a refreshing finish that leads you to want to drink more and more of this beer!

Added by froghop on 08-04-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
897
Reviews:
497
Avg:
3.98
pDev:
10.55%
 
 
Wants:
44
Gots:
256
For Trade:
14
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 897 |  Reviews: 497
Photo of MattGrimley
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of bigleague
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JRed
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange in color with thin white head that fades. Aroma of candy oranges, cotton candy, apples, grass, citrus. Tastes of citrus, bobbing for apples in booze, grass, mint, watermelon, and bitterness. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

 242 characters

Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of TXhomebrewer
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of silentjay
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a clear, translucent copper with a smallish off-white head that quickly recedes to a small film, but laces well.

some peppery, fruity aromas hints at a belgian yeast while some citrusy and grassy hops back things up a bit. bananas and cloves, yah, but plenty more. Traces of a belgian tripel, but with some hops as well. not bad at all.

taste is similar to the aroma, but also adds some malts to the package. peppery and fruity with banana, clove, plum, raisin, and apple flavors added to the wheat toast and caramel malts which give way to some grassy, citrus, and earthy hops, which have probably faded a bit over the last two years. a bit of warming booze comes through on the back end. nice.

medium bodied with ample carbonation and a nice lingering bitterness.

drinks rather well. booze can be harsh at times, even though its been aged for two years. that may age out in the next couple of years when the vertical is complete. otherwise, this is a nice, hoppy tripel with plenty of complexity and flavor. will look forward to trying this again in a couple of years.

 1,080 characters

Photo of mwilbur
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into pint glass.
A: Pours a beautiful golden orange with high carbonation producing a 2 inch bubbly white head. Excellent retention and lacing.
S: Very pleasant fruity esters, Belgian spice, and breast yeast. Some dark dried fruit (e.g. raisin). Very fresh and appealing.
T: More hoppy than anticipated. Sharp pine and citrus hops balanced fairly well by Belgian spice, raisin bread, and fruity esters.
M: Light-medium body. Fairly soft and smooth with some carbonated tingle and a moderately bitter and dry hop finish.
D: Good drinkability from a solid brew. A nice one now, but I would anticipate less hop presence as this gets to 12.12.12 which would improve the balance and likely make this good beer exceptional.

 742 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - An hazy orange-amber brew with a ton of carbonation and a sizable foamy head. Thick clumps of lacing cling in discordant rings all down the sides of the glass.

S - A sweet malt and aromatic floral (lilies) hops - obvious at first whiff that this is a Belgian strong pale ale.

T - Initially a burst of intense floral (lilies) hops with a bit of sweetness and a warming alcohol feel. Then it progresses to a biscuity aspect coupled with a lingering floral hop that shifts into a mild bitter floral hop flavor.

M - A little harsh, thick, and not very refreshing.

D - A little intense and strong. Fortunately, I see almost no reason to place much weight on the drinkability of this release.

 695 characters

Photo of alamode
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of BierFan
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a cervoise.

Appearance: 2 inch white head with an aggressive pour. Despite very lively carbonation the head starts dropping kinda fast. Very nice looking clear golden body.

Smell: Very sweet and candylike. Citrus aroma from the hops. Such a big hop aroma seems kinda out of place in a higher abv Belgian style beer but it smells damn good.

Taste: Really amazing. Cloves and spices that you would expect from a Belgian tripel plus hoppiness that you would expect from an American pale ale. Wonderful combination.

Drinkability: The hop flavors make me want to chug the whole bottle. The small "8.6% Alc/Vol" printed on the bottle warns me that I probably shouldn't.

UPDATE! 08/15/09: Hops have mellowed significantly but the bitterness remains. Kind of reminds me of Duvel with the addition of cloves and an increased bitterness. Still really good stuff but I'm not sure I want to let my other bottle age alot longer.

 955 characters

Photo of Denzo
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of axeman9182
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last offering in the second flight of Vertical Epics at Alewife Queens.

2008 Vertical Epic pours a translucent tangerine, with a good amount of head retention and lacing given what little foam there was to begin with. The nose is wonderfully juicy, with bubble gum and grapefruit aromas swimming together. The flavor starts out with that same plump bubble gum note. There's a relatively soft bitterness, followed by a grapefruit and mango close. The mouthfeel is solid, dry bodied and bubbly, though it could stand to be a bit more of each. As a Belgian IPA, I'm impressed by how well it's held up.

 603 characters

Photo of IBUnit63
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bomber to Alpine lager mug on 08.08.08 on camping trip to the Cape late nite...

Pours with very light lemon-honey body-lily white soapy head disspiates quickly.

Very bready with that silage hop ambiece-some coriander, a little citrus tang. Lots of yeast and deep yet crisp malt.

A little rough around the edges - 1/2 saison, 1/2 IPA feel. Nice bitter hop pucker and citrus tang with yeast, coriander and other spices. Needs a little time or warmth?

Bready, yeasty mouthfeel. Consistent from start to finish - good cleanliness, even with a blunt, heavy malt and boiled hop backbone.

Drinks very easily but am looking for more bountiful flavor profile to match weight. Not sure what time will do to this one.

 716 characters

Photo of joepais
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel glass it produced a fingers worth of white head that trailed away to a thick lace. The body was a clear copper brown on this ale

Aromas of bananas and piney hops filled my nose, the more it sits the more the hops become forward

Big bitter hops flavors up front. I don't know but I think this brew is a great Belgian IPA. Maybe it is a stone IPA with Belgian yeast? Because this is the first hop bomb Belgian I have ever drank. A medium mouthfeel with good carbonation on this brew with a slightly dry finish

Yes this thing is drinkable and I will be grabbing a few more .I don't think I will hold on to many of these, I will drink these puppies fresh the hops is that dam good

 702 characters

Photo of ATPete
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle

Pours a transparent yellow/orange color with a small white head that disappears quickly leaving some patching. Lots of visible carbonation and no yeast sediment to speak of. The nose is delightfully spicy balanced with a wonderful hoppiness. Most of the same characteristics come through while tasting. Notes of orange, chocolate, apricots, and lots of harmonious spice, the alcohol is present but definitely not dominant. The Belgian yeast plays a large role in the overall taste of the beer. The beers main character is mostly hoppy but is well balanced with some bold pale malt that really supports the flow of the beer. This one is killer, finally a Vertical Epic i will go back to! Its mouthfeel is medium/light with shy carbonation and a subtle, non offensive alcohol heat, making this one dangerously drinkable. A truly excellent beer.

***

i was lucky enough to sample this one on draught this weekend at BCTC up ant Ommegang. I took no notes on the draught offering but i remember saying, wow this is going to be awesome next week.

 1,054 characters

Photo of RBuckley73
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of GameOfBeers
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of batt6343
4.46/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TKEbeerman
2.99/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured into my VE glass, this brew pours a murky straw color with a lot of yeast for a IPA. I guess thats what makes it belgium.
S. Light fruit, and no hops.
F. A little hops on the back of the pallet. Yeasty spic notes, but a lack of complexity.
Mf. The fullest of the VEs. Very well carbonated.
Overall, for an aged Belgium IPA I expected more complexity.

 361 characters

Photo of Briken
2.88/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Slightly hazy golden orange with foamy white head with little retention and lacing. Spicy and citrus aroma. Flavors complimenting the aroma with apple and strong hop presence despite 2 years and a little more balanced. Semi-dry, straw and alcohol finish. Spongy, fizzy mouthfeel with poor bitter linger.

I never had a chance to taste this fresh but I imagine the strong hops may have saved this fresh. Also, it may have been improperly stored at some point since I just found it about 6 months ago in a store. Nonetheless, as is it seems to me this was a prototype for the Cali-Belgique IPA which I love and so I guess that's what it's all about for Stone, finding something good to tweak a bit for regular production.

 719 characters

Photo of cavedave
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The look is straw colored, a bit cloudy, glowing, topped by a thin head of almost pure white. Picture Duvel with a bit less color/head perfection.

Ah, that fragrance which brings one back immediately to the fine Belgian strong pales one has sipped in life. I'm carried by wings of apricot, belgian style yeast, alcohol, and mild spice to past enjoyments. So simple, so complex, so seductive.

Brandied apricots lead an orderly stampede of flavor. Spice, pear, alcohol hints, herbal hints, earthy tones, yeasty tones, ending in a tart, modestly bitter, tiny-bit-sweet-and-alcohol-warm finish that satisfies immensely. Lacks some of the startling complexity found in others of this style. Makes up for it by being extremely delicious.

Mouthfeel is just short of marvelous. Carbonation is just right, but it seems a bit resinous for something that isn't jump on your tongue hoppy.

Due to its wonderful flavor, drinkability is quite good, if not dangerously so.

 962 characters

Photo of BrewSTL
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bobhits
3.52/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A. pale and fairly thin. The head comes up and goes away pretty quickly. Fizzy yellow beer?

S. Hops. No...Belgium yeast. No, some sweet malt and alcohol? Ok this beer is like a good pitcher, it keeps throwing me different signals.

T. I thought the smell was weird. Wow, first taste it's stone IPA, but with something a bit off in the back ground. Second taste, it's a Belgium triple (only not terrible like most Belgium beers). This beer honestly played with my mouth all night long. Flavors from banana, piny hops, to who knows what. This is one of the most complex and varied beers I've ever had. I still don't feel like I can make heads of tales of this.

M. Thin, but with some spices which as they warm seem to slow down the consumption of it. A good bite from the carbonation, but still overall a bit on the thin side.

D. See above. It's drinkable, not a sipper, but not a session. It's a beer that starts off and finishes differently.

I might edit my review 20 times if I drink this beer 20 times, but either way for those that don't like belgiums this is worth giving a shot. If you don't like IPA's give this a shot. If you don't like either...well just avoid it.

8/27/10 update

No change to the score. Just tasting notes a bit over 2 years in.

The stone IPA with belgium characteristics is gone. This a belgium with some american hop pretense. It's dry finishing as hell and dominated by the yeast flavors. I'll be interested to see how the hop flavors work in this in a few years once the final hop bite is completely gone and only the fruity flavors remain. It almost has a white grape flavor with a campaign like carbonation. Good? Well...I'm not loving this beer, but I'm fascinated by it.

 1,711 characters

Photo of Gerred
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale from Stone Brewing
3.98 out of 5 based on 897 ratings.
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